Agency Legal Counsel
State of Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska

The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) is looking for a dynamic and committed general counsel. This position oversees 4 attorneys, a paralegal, and two technical staff. Experience with state and federal environmental laws is a plus but not required. This is an opportunity to run your own firm and gain a broad range of experience from administrative hearings to assisting with complex litigation.

The NDEE advantage:
• More experience and opportunities than a private law office
• Work is generally limited to 40 hours/week
• Set your own schedule and manage your own caseload
• Regular interaction with great clients, including heads of state agencies
• Immediately work on cases that establish public policy and have statewide impact

*Minimum Permanent Hourly Rate: $39.872 *Maximum Hourly Rate: $56.957 *Salary dependent on selected applicant's qualifications and experience.

245 Fallbrook Blvd - Suite 100 - Lincoln, NE

Monday - Friday - 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Flexible Schedules

Examples of Work

  • Fulfill and promote NDEE's mission and program responsibilities by:
  • Developing and maintaining an efficient and positive work atmosphere
  • Open communication within the agency throughout all levels of staff
  • Open communication with the public, elected officials, regulated community and other
  • government agencies, to promote assistance, compliance, permitting and regulatory functions.
  • Assure NDEE provides the optimum service possible to the public and regulatory community we serve through the effective and efficient administration of the legal division
  • Implement management decisions by conveying a positive attitude.
  • Use the Management GEMBA sheet to convey successes, constraints and to identify significant areas requiring Executive team assistance for problem solving or direction.
• Significant deadlines
1. Ensure timesheets are developed, recorded, accurate and submitted for
processing by 9 am each Monday (including your own)
2. Assemble data for annual 528 report to legislature by December 15th
3. Quarterly case review with Agency leadership, AGO and USEPA
4. Coordinate criminal referrals with USEPA (expedited as necessary)

  • Coordination with other Divisions
  • Generally, this should include coordinating special projects, improvement initiatives, better coordination procedures, training initiatives, etc. This includes coordinating with both the program and the staff you supervise.
  • Develop legislative proposal ideas by August 1 unless otherwise informed,
  • Participate in the regulation process,
  • Actively track Federal CFR for rule amendments and new rules, provide meaningful and timely comments, and keep upper management aware of developing rules and statutes, and Coordinate training needs and opportunities.
  • Efficiency and Responsiveness
  • Search for efficiency improvements in all aspects of your responsibilities. Ensure that responses are provided to both internal and external requests. This should include improved coordination between divisions, programs and activities, (eg: planning permitting and enforcement) seeking better tools to assist our efforts; better utilization of historical and independent information, databases, studies, etc. Include actions taken to improve efficiencies in monthly Director reports to be used as part of the 528 report. Include a listing of the effort, along with a short summary of its effectiveness at the end of each reporting year. Work to utilize key tools into your daily activities, e.g. GIS data, Data validation within DEE and EPA (ensure data reported is accurate and up to date in EPA databases utilized to populate other EPA applications such as ECHO), environmental indicator information, monthly metrics to access.
  • Develop a management tracking board (paper or electronic)
  • Use GEMBA form developed from QDIP worksheets to advance ideas and improvements to upper management
  • Develop and actively participate in Lean Six Sigma and Visual Process improvement
  • Attend huddles regularly and develop process improvements in coordination with the agency Process Improvement Coordinator (PIC)
  • Professionalism/Personal Impact/Personal Development
  • Effectively plan and manage all personnel matters for the Legal Division. This should include annual performance planning and appraisals, providing necessary and appropriate counseling, guidance direction and motivation for all employees. Each employee should have at least 4 SMART goals.
  • Annual SMART GOALS to be entered in the Employee Development Center and also included on the paper Performance Planning document.
  • Meet at least quarterly and/or on an as needed basis with those you directly supervise to discuss their performance.
  • Continue to pursue, promote, and actively seek diversity in our workforce, in our knowledge and understanding of our coworkers, and the public we serve.
  • Continue to build trust, confidence, and comradery in the agency.
  • Assure that every person in the Legal Division performs at an acceptable level by creating a positive and effective work atmosphere with frequent oversight and adequate opportunity for feedback.
  • Identify and address poor performance issues through guidance, performance evaluations, and discipline when necessary.
  • Encourage rotations, temporary assignments, etc., to increase perspectives of other program or unit activities.
  • Ensure staff comply with applicable personnel laws, regulations, and policies and procedures.
  • Assure each employee has an accurate and up to date (no more than 3 years old) position description document and that work assigned reflects the work described in the document
  • Training
  • Prepare a training plan for all employees in the Legal Division annually within dates set for performance management training. Develop and implement a comprehensive training plan for you and the staff in your division within the limits of assigned budget and the requirements of the director. Use LinkedIn Learning training modules for your management training.
  • Assure all managers have good supervisory, management, and diversity training and they apply this training within their daily operations.
  • Develop a training schedule for yourself according to your job description and management training rule requirements to include: communications, diversity, leadership, negotiations, and other management training of interest. Coordinate training approaches with the agency training coordinator.
Qualifications / Requirements
REQUIREMENTS: Five years of experience practicing law and providing legal services such as preparing and trying cases, advising clients, and/or interpreting laws and/or administrative policies, including one year of supervising other attorneys.

Legal Requirements: (These qualifications are mandated by federal/state laws, statutes, and/or regulations.) In accordance with Section 7-101, Nebraska Revised, Reissued Statutes of l943, incumbents in this class must be admitted to the Nebraska Bar.

OTHER: Valid driver's license or ability to provide independent transportation; ability to travel overnight; ability to maintain regular and reliable attendance.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Knowledge of: state and federal environmental laws, guidelines, rules and regulations; agency programs related to environmental grants and loans; and understanding of environmental compliance activities.

Ability to: communicate on all levels of knowledge relating to environmental issues; organize and coordinate the staff workload to maximize effective utilization of personnel and resources; react to emergency situations rapidly and properly to protect human health and welfare and to minimize adverse environmental effects; interpret environmental laws and programs in dealing with citizen concerns and educating the public.

Skill in: managing personnel and general management; conducting business and negotiating with persons of a different viewpoint to mediate an acceptable solution for all those concerned.

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